Cut out the schlubby hotel lifestyle, and try this new brand of away-from-home living.
Guys who travel for business know how hard it can be to stay active on the road. Hotel rooms are designed to facilitate sloth. The television and the bed are set in the middle of a space shared by a minibar and - most of the time - an impractical desk. EVEN Hotels, a new chain created by the Intercontinental Hotels Group, is looking to change all that. The first location, which opened last week in Norwalk, Connecticut, features training zones with cork flooring and exercise equipment in each room and a top notch athletic studio an elevator ride away. There are also natural products in the bathroom and eucalyptus linen, but luxury is an afterthought.
As well as putting equipment in the room, the new Norwalk hotel and even newer Rockville, Maryland branch offer natural, healthy foods tailored to clients who watch what they eat. Fortunately, the emphasis is not on abstaining, but enjoying the better stuff. The alcohol is high-end. The desserts aren't simply sugary. If all you want at the end of a long day of meetings is Diet Coke and someplace to lay down, that's fine, but you should give EVEN a miss. The only downside of staying at a health-conscious, work-out centric hotel is that taking a nap feels verboten.
EVEN is hardly the first hotel to focus on fitness, but it is the first major chain. Whether or not it takes off, we hope it motivates other hotel brands to think of their clients as dynamic rather than horizontal. Yes, hotels need comfortable beds, but the easiest way to get comfortable is to be tired.